Cauliflower Archive

Monday, March 17, 2008

pasta with cauliflower, walnuts and feta

pasta with cauliflower, walnuts and feta

Do you ever have those recipes where are you just positively, absolutely certain that they will be terrible and that you shouldn’t make them… and yet, you are inexplicably drawn to them and know they’re not going to stop nudging you until you cave? Right, so this was one of those.

You see, several years ago, I was watching some undoubtedly average “healthy cooking” show where the chef suggested that one take half the pasta they wish to eat, replace it with chunks of cauliflower, boil them together and then cover it with marinara sauce. Even though I never made it or even considered making it, it turned my stomach so much that to this day, I can’t seem to forget it. Yes, let’s cook cauliflower in the least appetizing way possible because it is “health food.” Right. Where do I sign up?!

cauliflower

This was among the reasons that I approached the this dish from my other new favorite cookbook, Chez Panisse Vegetables, with great trepidation. It involved several things that give me pause, the first being that combination of cauliflower and pasta which reminded me of that fateful, stomach-turning show. Yet the cauliflower was just one of the things that so far exceeded my expectations of this dish, we are actually venturing into “mind was blown” territory–crunchy, nutty and this might be the only way I cook it for now on. (Just kidding! Er, maybe.)

Continued after the jump »

Monday, February 26, 2007

recipes from a cumin junkie

pomegranate seeds, unrelated

Considering that I was on a two year extended Indian cooking kick before I started this site, I find it odd that I have included but one Indian-spiced recipe in the time since. I’m not sure if others do this, but I tend to go in and out of food crazes — currently, the absolutely only thing I want to eat after the gym is tofu pad thai, which doesn’t sound so horrible until you consider that I hit the gym three times a week, and no doubt reverse its effects just as often. I’ve gone through similar phases with poached eggs (atop anything), dinners of asparagus and roasted tiny red potatoes (only), dumplings, and for two torturous months of Alex’s life, a certain Belgian Endive and Grain Mustard salad of Nigella Lawson’s I fiended for, even first thing in the morning.

red split lentils with cabbage

The Indian cooking bender was no different. What I loved was that you would take the simplest ingredients and render them into hearty, filling and unbelievably healthy dishes, and blow your expectations of lentils out of the water. Their fiscal smarts also cannot be overlooked. Once we’d bought the six or seven spices we continually came back to, we’d stand flabbergasted at the register as our lentils, cauliflower, potatoes and peas came to a mere $5 — and created leftovers that were as good if not better than they were the first day. But the real Indian food addiction was those spices; once they got under my skin (and permanently stained several cooking implements), I couldn’t stop itching for more of them. I became, excruciatingly enough, a cumin seed junkie.

indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, January 11, 2007

cauliflower and brussels salad

cauliflower and brussels salad

Oh boy, so we already know what a pest I can be, right? Well, yesterday I had the honor of running what should have been simple errands and yet each was more aggravating than the last, from the Verizon guy that seriously did not understand what to do with my $100 phone credit, the dress which simply did not exist and a line of ten people keeping me from just asking where it could be found and an Aveda employee, oh just don’t get me started because I have nothing nice to say about their eerie breed of worker ants on 5th Avenue. When I got home, frozen like a cranky popsicle, I eagerly dug into the bag of groceries Alex had picked up for our dinner only to find that the store had only white cauliflower left, and I’d wanted the purple, orange and green! I decided that the recipe was boring and I didn’t want to make it at all if it couldn’t be pretty, and oh my god, could I be more annoying?

I was talked back into cooking with the lure of an attitude-adjusting peanut butter cookie from Billy’s Bakery. Have I told you how awesome they are? I know, everyone has had peanut butter cookies before and they’re fairly basic to make, all bearing the signature fork criss-cross mark on top but these, these are something above-and-beyond. After much analysis, as they are kind enough to frequently leave samples out when I come in to get coffee, I’ve determined that the root of their awesomeness is a mixture of chunky peanut butter, peanut butter chips and a light sprinkling with sugar that superfine, indeed. When I find an excuse besides filling our gullets, I promise to try to make my own Billys-style transcendently good peanut butter cookies to share with those of you scattered far from NYC’s west side.

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, September 3, 2006

silky cauliflower soup

silky cauliflower soup

Look, I’m not going to call Friday night’s dinner a disaster. For one, my husband would jump its undeserving defense and hey, nobody went to bed hungry, did they? But, I hated it. It was a tremendous amount of labor for a just shy of average outcome, none of the dishes lived up to my taste bud’s anticipation of them and even looking at the photos as well as the ample leftovers the next morning, ugh, I just wanted it all to go away. We can’t be great cooks every night, can we? I suppose some disappointing baigan bharta, oily cauliflower with onions and tomatoes and lackluster naan are small prices to pay for lucking out round one with garlic soups and sable cookies.

Because I’m just not the kind of person who handles disappointment well, or without immediately seeking out karmic retribution, on a bleary, rainy Saturday night when after a day of running exhausting errands, my husband and I lacked motivation to do anything but take in some back-episodes of The Wire, I cooked some foods that never fail me.

caesar salad with garlic-rubbed croutons

Continued after the jump »